Gov. Greg Abbott Aug. 13, 2015, 10:35am


Businesses owned by women in Texas are growing at more than twice the rate of all firms nationwide. While visiting the Big Apple last month, I was proud to note that Texas already beats New York — not only in the number of women-owned businesses, but also in the revenue and jobs they create.

Realtor Monica McNabb of San Marcos knew she needed additional capital to reach the next level, but finding a lender willing to lend to a young startup was a challenge.

Now a successful real estate broker and owner of McNabb & Co., recognized as an Emerging Business of the Year by the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, Monica is celebrating six years in business along with her team of 14 agents. A mother of two girls, Monica also teaches entrepreneurship and real estate finance at the McCoy College of Business Administration at Texas State University, hoping to inspire more young women to join the 825,400 women business owners in Texas.

My goal is to make Texas the top state for women-owned firms, and I invite all entrepreneurs—women and men—to attend the Governor’s Small Business Forum on Aug. 26 at the Embassy Suites & Convention Center in San Marcos.

The daylong event will include expert perspectives on accessing capital, marketing and networking, opportunities for veterans and minority- and woman-owned businesses, resources available through federal, state and local government agencies and more.

Women are now majority owners of nearly one in three U.S. firms, with 887 net new women-owned enterprises opening every day. Unsurprisingly, many of these startups are finding the freedom to flourish in Texas. We are second only to California in the number of women-owned firms, and we are growing at the second-fastest rate, well ahead of both New York and California.

There’s more to the Texas success story. The Lone Star State is No. 2 in the number of businesses owned by Latinas, and they now lead the nation in the number of jobs they will create this year. Among the top 25 metros, San Antonio is tops in the number and economic clout of women-owned firms; Dallas is second in number; and Houston is No. 1 in revenue and fourth in number.

Whether launching a micro-enterprise employing the proprietor only or a small business hiring other employees, women are looking for the same opportunities as all entrepreneurs: more access to capital, fewer barriers to entry and greater freedom to grow.

Texas offers more opportunities for women business-builders like Monica:

• Texas imposes no personal income tax and no corporate income tax, and we just cut the business franchise tax by 25 percent.

 • We are speeding up permitting processes and have eliminated occupational licensing fees for more than 600,000 Texas professionals.

 • Occupational license and exam fees are now waived for veterans with the required education, training and experience gained in the military, and new veteran-owned business are exempt from franchise taxes for the first 5 years.

 • My office hosts Small Businesses Forums in communities around the state throughout the year, and we now offer an online handbook on how to start a small business in Texas.

 • We are also helping women market their businesses, connecting them to resources offered by government agencies and private entities through the Governor’s Commission for Women.

 • And I proudly approved $2.2 million in funding this session to establish a Center for Women in Business at Texas Women’s University to provide more of the tools needed to succeed.

Women business-leaders represent one of the greatest potentials for growth, and my goal as governor is to make Texas the No. 1 state for women-owned businesses.

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